Make decisions based on health and science

I am a Scottish scientist, and after reading the various ideas put in by the people of Scotland, I am depressed. Most revolve around creating 'herd immunity' and 'getting life back to normal', but these people fail to see the science. Herd immunity will not happen, and all you will do is create a danger to many parts of society. The healthy and young can become severely unwell and we do not yet fully understand the true impact of 'long covid'. What happened to compassion? Do we not care unless we are directly affected? We need to adapt to deal with this virus now, or else we will end up in an even larger mess than we are already in. I ask for several things: 1. Shielding as protection within employment. This means that those who are clinically vulnerable should have a legal right to work at home. This is what shielding should be. No one is forced into this but employers have to comply and have to allow working from home for these individuals. 2. Quicker localised action. For example, Glasgow is an absolute mess right now and I do not understand why pubs and restaurants remain open. Faster action by the Scottish Government could have prevented this from happening. We need fast action within areas of high covid transmission. 3. Transparency of data and compliance with WHO standards. The WHO guidelines state that the virus is deemed 'out of control' within any country with a greater than 5% positivity rate for 2 weeks. This is Scotland. We have had greater than 5% for more than 2 weeks - for the last week this has been significantly above 10%. I implore the Scottish Government to look at the science and to stop sticking their heads in the sand. 4. An admission of the role of schools in community transmission. Since schools reopened in the middle of August, Scotland has had gradually increasing levels of the virus (starting 2-3 weeks after schools returned, in line with the incubation period of the virus). This has mostly been in the younger age groups, but you can see where the virus has potentially transmitted outside of under 25s and is now increasing in 25-44 year olds. These are likely parents of school age children. Student at university have had a lot of blame but schools are clearly making a huge impact (given their key community roles and large levels of pupils) and it is extremely irresponsible of the Scottish Government to ignore this clear trend. 5. Consideration to blended learning for schools. If this was implemented properly it could work. It would allow for continued education and the combination of in person and online would make for a much safer environment - likely driving down community spread. We are at the stage where the virus is well and truly out of control. We need to stop it before it is too late. People will not stick to a national lockdown (which is clear given the other ideas on this forum) so we need to have full transparency of the science and data and full honesty from the government. The population is generally unaware of the gravity of this situation, and I understand why this is. The key Scottish Government 'science' figures are not experts and they do not communicate important messages. Instead we hear about 'relaxing restrictions for football penalties' and dithering on an epic scale. Get your act together ScotGov - before it's too late.

Why the contribution is important

Need to act now to prevent a disaster. Too much dithering by the government and very clear agendas (for example, keeping schools open when they are clearly facilitating spread dramatically). No protection for the vulnerable and no clear scientific advice for the Scottish people. As a scientist I know what should be done, but I understand why the Scottish people are turning against these measures. The government need to be more clear and need to be impartial.

by sharktyphoon on October 06, 2020 at 05:10PM

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Comments

  • Posted by O52O2O October 06, 2020 at 18:32

    If the Scottish Government has any sense they'll take everything you've said on board - at the moment it feels like they're just coasting from one wishy washy decision to another. It seems to me that they know there is going to be a backlash if they switch to blended learning or close certain sectors of the economy back down, but that shouldnt be a factor in making decisions on something so important. We're all feeling the strain of the last few months but people need to think of others as well as themselves, and do what is necessary to get the numbers back down.
  • Posted by angel October 07, 2020 at 01:08

    Thank you! I agree with every word.
  • Posted by Daradara October 07, 2020 at 19:03

    "What happened to compassion?" Indeed - what happened to compassion with children who are unlikely to benefit fro blended learning? What happened to compassion with business owners (most of whom are not Richard Branson) who will see their life's work destroyed by restrictive measures?
  • Posted by Jeang2020 October 07, 2020 at 20:13

    Agree with these points. Scientists can t predict the long term effects on young people. There can t be long term data at this point realistically. Also how can long term immunity be guaranteed. How can there be confidence in decisions that are going to cost lives based on what exactly? Data is only as good as the reliability of information
  • Posted by MooritCheviot October 08, 2020 at 21:19

    I disagree with the schools point as the increase in cases would have been earlier and more rapid. Schools are everywhere, yet increases mainly in the central belt.
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